Remembering Steve Dash

Sad news has gripped the horror community with the recent passing of Steve Dash. For those who don’t know, Dash passed away on December 18, 2018, at the age of 74 due to complications from diabetes. He was mainly a stuntman/coordinator in the horror genre, in films such as Mr. Hush, Night Shift, and Alone in the Dark. Also, you may not know, he was a stunt double for William Atherton’s character, Walter Peck in 1984’s Ghostbusters! However, those of us familiar to his name will always remember Dash as the burlap butcher– (I coin the phrase if it has yet to be taken), or bag head Jason as he’s been called, the first Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th part 2.

He set the bar for what was to become a staple character in the oh-so missed Slasher genre. A kind-hearted, and funny man, I had the privilege of meeting Dash in New Jersey at Monster Mania a few years ago. I was taken-a-back being in his presence, as his energy still very much radiated that of Jason Voorhees. Dash, like Kane Hodder, was not shy about letting loose his inner Crystal Lake Killer, having brought up his machete (to my throat) for our photo op.

When I asked Dash why there were two people portraying Jason in the film, seeing as he himself was a stuntman, he replied that while he was originally set to be the stuntman only, the crew was having problems with their other actor Warrington Gillette. While the scene we see at the end of Friday part 2 is, in fact, Gillette, this was filmed before said problems had arisen. Thus, Dash was given the remainder of the film to bring Jason to life. And what a job he did! As far as all of the actors who have come along to play the iconic role, admitting myself that CJ Graham remains to be my personal favorite overall, Dash definitely brought, what I think to be, the most terrifying presence to the character. This perhaps mostly due to the fact that Jason was new to the screen, and had yet to be shaped into what we know of him today. Dash’s portrayal maintained a sense of emotion and grief towards his mothers slaying at the end of the original, something I feel was lost to any of the later actors that followed. With this, as well as being the only rendition (excluding Jason as a boy in Part 1) to not have dawned the infamous hockey mask, I think Dash stands out among the 9 actors who have come to play the role.

On behalf of horror fans all over, we say thank you. Rest in Peace Steve Dash, as you will always be remembered as– in the manner that you had autographed my DVD case– “The Real Jason” I do hope that many of you out there had the opportunity to meet Steve Dash, it was an honor for myself.

Until next time, this is The Horror Seeker!



From the Vault REPLAY! The Christmas Wish by Crystal Connor

Originally posted on December, 2015

The Christmas Wish

by Crystal Connor

He thumbed through the list on the screen of his phone one more time just to be sure. It was confirmed. An emergency addition. He looked again at the naughty list and sighed. It seemed to get longer and longer with each passing year. And this year, there were more girls than boys. Tonight, all of the gifts for the good children had been dispensed before the hour of the night had reached double digits, the fastest time on record.

The problem with Christianity was forgiveness, but rest assured, there would be none of that here tonight. The moon was already halfway between the zenith and the western horizon, and he still had almost a million children to deal with before the sun rose.

The wide-eyed little girl he had tied up and put in front of the fireplace had black ringlets that hung just past her shoulders. Her big brown eyes were just a shade or two darker than her skin. She looked like an angel. He ignored her tears, walked into the kitchen, and helped himself to another cookie.

The little girl was scared, but there was nothing she could do to free herself from her nylon imprisonment, so she just glared at the intruder while he ate the cookies that she and her little brother had left out for him.

She knew this man was Santa because she had seen the sleigh against the backdrop of the moon, heard him coming down the chimney, and watched him step out of the fireplace. She knew he was Santa, even though he was like no other Santa she had seen in pictures, at the mall, or on TV.

He wasn’t fat, and the last thing he looked was jolly.

He wore a metal helmet. His long red hair had gray in it, and so did his beard, but he wasn’t old enough to have all-white hair. He wore a black nightgown with a wide red belt tied across his flat belly, but she could see what he had on underneath, because it didn’t cover his sleeves, and it wasn’t very long. The gown was worn over black pants, a black sleeveless shirt, and black boots. The man-eating cookies in the kitchen looked more like Thor than Santa.

The big red symbol on his chest was the same symbol that was on his shield: one line going up and down with five slanted lines drawn across it. The word above the symbol said “AUTHORITY,” and the words under the symbol said, “and OBEDIENCE.” The words formed a circle around the strange symbol. The only thing that was the same as with the others she’d seen were his eyes … They were blue.

Santa ate the last cookie. Overlooking the glass of warm milk sitting next to the cookie-crumbed saucer, he went to the refrigerator and drank straight from the carton. With his thirst satisfied, he returned to the living room and took a seat in front of the bound girl. Even when seated, Santa loomed over her. The girl’s eyes flickered. Her breath was labored, and he knew the small child was going to pass out. At six years old, she was the youngest child on the list, and without a doubt, the most frightened child he had seen not only tonight but also in a long while.

He grabbed the little girl by the collar of her pajamas that displayed a little black princess holding a frog and removed the ball gag that was entirely too large. She took a long, deep, relieved breath.

Unlike the other children on this list, she did not shrink from him.

“You’re not really Santa. Santa’s nice; he would never do this.” A large tear slowly fell from her eye. “You look like him, but you’re not really him. Are you Santa’s son?”

He leaned forward and, with a calloused thumb, roughly smudged the tear from her face.

“My name is Kris Kringle, and these,” he said as he licked his thumb, “are not going to help you. I do not have a son. I am here because you’re on the naughty list … for the second year in a row.”

“Well, I got a dolly last year!” she stated with an indignant huff.

“Last year, you were too young to be disciplined.” The child’s eyes drifted from the angry orbs of ice down to the third word blazed upon the front of his tunic: “OBEDIENCE.”

She took a deep breath and tilted her head in thought. She held the gaze of his ice-blue eyes once more. She tried stretching her shoulders, but with her hands firmly tied behind her back, she couldn’t move them very far.

“It’s Christmastime; you’re supposed to be nice.”

“Really? Says who?”

“Says, Jesus!” Clearly, the young girl was outraged by Santa’s ignorance.

“Hmmm.” Santa leaned back and crossed his legs. “After all that you’ve done, now you want Jesus?”

She thought about it for a moment and decided that she didn’t. Santa read her internal dialogue like an open book. She was trying to think her way out of this. Santa was no longer surprised that the child before him was an emergency addition to the naughty list.

“So then, am I getting a spanking?”

Santa laughed. He was sure that if she had locomotion, she would have asked that sassy question with a hand on her hip.

The rod had been spared in this household, and they were well beyond the niceties of corporal punishment. The behavior of this child demanded a return to the old way of things. Tonight, this babe would be reborn upon the altar of dutifulness.

Father Christmas and his young hostage looked up in response to hoof stomps. The animals on the roof were growing restless, and the old saint was behind schedule.

Most people neglected to remember the dark origins of the holiday and therefore failed to realize the consequences of being on the naughty list, which was reviewed and edited several times a year. Santa did more than just bring gifts and eat cookies. Children, like their parents, forgot or did not know that, above all else, Santa was a disciplinarian and that clumps of coal were useless tools when it came to child behavioral modification and teen attitude adjusting.

He reached for his bulky bag.

Santa laid the contents in a neat row at the feet of the ill-behaved princess and gave his watch a quick glance. Looking at the items placed before her, the child began to cry.

The pear of anguish was not sugar-coated, and the mere illumination from the night-light made the metal gleam. Men using enhanced interrogation techniques would have protested the horrors. What was a little girl to do?

“Santa,” she said with terror-filled awe, “I have to go potty.” As Mr. Kringle slowly stood to tower over the child, a trickle of warm liquid ran down her legs to form a puddle that pooled around her small feet.

He turned his back to her tears and began to pace while being careful to not walk through the blood. Even with this carnage, this savagery, he pulled out his phone and checked the list once more. Just to be sure. Using his thumb and pointer finger, he enlarged the image on his screen. The picture he was looking at was a mirror image of the little girl crying behind him.

Santa returned to the kitchen, took a plastic cup from the cupboard, and filled it with sweet liquid. He grabbed the towel from the handle of the refrigerator and knelt before the young girl he had come to punish.

He allowed the young one to soothe her dry throat with the cool juice from the forbidden fruit that had caused the fall of man. He removed the rope that held her wrists behind her back and clamped a strong grip to the back of her neck. He marched her into her bedroom, found a fresh pair of pajamas, and then led her to the door of the bathroom.

“Go clean yourself up.”

When he heard the running water, he returned to the living room to stand over the dead. Chills ran down his spine as he tried to come to terms with how a six-year-old child could kill a man the same size as he or how one so young could kill her own mother.

He didn’t hear her, but he knew she was there because he could smell her. He turned to face the strawberry-scented child. The depth of the detachment with which she regarded the deceased was alarming. The only emotion she displayed was reverence when she looked up to Santa’s face.

“Do I still have to get a spanking?” she asked again on the brink of tears. Rustling behind the couch commanded Santa’s attention, and he tossed the furniture aside to reveal a boy child, smaller and younger than the girl. The boy fled from his hiding place, stood behind his sister, and gawked up at Santa through a mask of bruises. The bridge of his nose was red, under his eye was purple, and the color of his cheek was blue. Santa watched the movement of the girl’s eyes as they drifted over the decaying with contempt.

“Do you know about Santa’s helpers?” he asked as he glared down at the children. The boy was nodding yes while his sister spoke for both of them.

“They’re the elves who live with you in the North Pole and work at the toy shop.”

Santa swore. In days of old, children were afraid of elves, and rightly so, for they were vicious deities responsible for nightmares, diseases, and death. It was the elves that kept track of those who had been nice and those who hadn’t.

It sickened Santa to think that when people thought of elves, the image that came to mind was that of colorful, diminutive, playful things of children’s cartoons. It was no wonder that people were astonished to learn that being on the naughty list was a way of illustrating that actions had consequences, that those consequences required penitence, and that the debt had to be paid in blood.

The true assistants of Saint Nicholas were demons dispatched to avenge injustice or insult, descending from long and amazing family trees, which included gods of the north, who flew through the sky with the help of horses, reindeer’s, and goats.

With Belsnickel, he had a judge; with Zwarte Piet, who was personally in charge of the naughty and nice lists, he had a jury. With Lapland the Wildman, who bashed in children’s skulls and drank from their necks as soon as he delivered gifts to the undeserving, he once had an executioner. Le Père Fouettard, who killed children, cut them up and put them in a stewpot, replaced Lapland, but like the Wildman, Le Père Fouettard was no more.

Santa was gently lured from his thoughts as he noticed how the child protecting her brother lustfully eyed the cat-o-nine tails. The sparkle in her eye matched the glint of the razor-sharp barbs. Her eyes lovingly caressed the manacles before they fell so assiduously upon the bastinado cane, a tool used to inflict a particularly brutal and cruel form of punishment in which the soles of the feet are whipped. She slowly took a visual inventory of all the instruments that would be used for the implementation of acceptable behavior and smiled.

Santa had been mourning the loss of Fouettard for thousands of years, but Santa would yearn no more. This girl child who stood before him would replace Le Père Fouettard just as Le Père Fouettard replaced Lapland the Wildman.

Santa’s Christmas wish had been granted. Once again, after all these years, Santa had an executioner.

It was time to return to the old way of things.

To read more like The Christmas Wish please visit:

From the Vault REPLAY! Morbid Meals – Holiday Spirits

Originally posted on December 2014

When it comes to the holiday spirits, I’m not talking about the Ghost of Christmas Past, or that chain-rattling spectre of Jacob Marley. No, I speak of something even more frightening: Holiday Hooch!

As the song goes, “Baby, it’s cold outside.” One sure way to stay warm is with a little nightcap. It’s no surprise that many drinks this time of year are heated up. Hot buttered rum, egg nog, mulled wine, just to name a few. Hot apple cider and hot cocoa shouldn’t be missed either.

So in keeping with the intoxicating tradition, I am sharing three of my favorite drinks that will make the season, and your nose, bright. Just stay safe, my fellow Horror Addicts. We want to see you have a prosperous new year.



This drink is one of my own devising. Instead of mundane eggnog, I leave this as a treat for Krampus. When he visits my very naughty children, this tends to please him and he has yet to torture my kiddos. Clearly they have been very naughty if Santa is not only forgoing the coal, but sending Krampus to punish them. I like to think this drink encourages his mercy. They are just children after all, and I believe that children are our future. Oh, sorry. Almost broke into song there. My apologies.



About one quart
Roughly 5 to 6 drinks


1/4 cup (2 oz) Sanguinaccio Dolce sauce (or melted dark chocolate)
2 cups (1 pint) half & half
1/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 oz brandy or bourbon
3 oz black spiced rum or coffee liqueur


dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cocoa powder


  • double boiler, or a large pot with a large bowl that sits snug on top
  • medium saucepan
  • whisk
  • blender


  1. First, either prepare a small batch of Sanguinaccio Dolce sauce, or melt some dark chocolate in a double boiler, and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat up the half & half and sugar, over high heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a blender, add the eggs and sanguinaccio dolce (or melted chocolate). Blend on low speed for about one minute.
  4. With blender still running, slowly add the warmed half & half and blend for about 30 more seconds.
  5. Add the alcohol and blend until the everything is frothy, about 2 minutes.
  6. Some people like warm nog. If so, serve immediately. If you and your guests prefer chilled nog, put your blender carafe into the fridge and chill for at least an hour. When ready to serve, put the blender carafe back on the motor and blend for about 30 seconds to combine everything together again and restore the froth.
  7. Pour into glasses and serve with dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.


This recipe makes just about one quart, a perfect amount for the average blender. If you want to make a party punch bowl version of this, then multiply by however many quarts your punch bowl can safely hold. Just remember that this is an egg-based drink. It is not a good idea to let this just sit around at room temperature.

I used to make this with Kahlúa, as the coffee and chocolate flavors go together so perfectly. Then I discovered Tia Maria, and ditched Kahlúa like a bad habit. I personally find it to be smoother and less sweet.

However, my beloved wife hates coffee. In an attempt to alter this exalted recipe, I have found that black spiced rum adds a deeper spice to the drink as well as a darker hue to the beverage that is in keeping with a drink fit for Krampus. Of course, for a twist on the horror angle, you could try REDRUM. If you try that, let me know how it tastes.

Finally, let’s address the demon in the room. Yes, sanguinaccio dolce is my traditional chocolate sauce for this drink, and yes, it contains pig’s blood. Of course you can melt chocolate or even use chocolate syrup, in a pinch. I do understand if drinking a small amount of pig’s blood turns you off… in a drink made with chicken eggs. And booze. I have had more compliments on this drink when made with sanguinaccio vs. mundane chocolate. In the end, I leave it up to you.


This is delicious any time of year, but I inevitably get asked to make it during Yule and Christmas Eve parties. I hope it becomes a tradition at your home as well. For us it has been Dad tested, Krampus approved.

Bela Mimosa


This twist on the traditional mimosa is named after Bela Lugosi and features the juice of blood oranges. It has become a favorite for a toast on New Year’s Eve, as well as for brunch on New Year’s Day.



2 oz champagne
3 oz blood orange juice
dash of grenadine (optional)


1 slice blood orange


  1. In a champagne flute, pour blood orange juice and champagne. Add grenadine to provide extra color.
  2. Garnish with a slice of blood orange.


It can be hard to find blood oranges year round, but they are in season during the winter. That makes a New Year’s toast with this drink the perfect time to enjoy it.


“I never drink… wine,” said the Count. I’m sure he would have added, “vithout bubbles.” No? How about this… “Bela Mimosa’s dead. Undead, straight to my head.” Admit it. You’re singing that right now. My work here is done.

Twelfth Night Lambswool (Hot Wassail)


In the Christian tradition, the Feast of the Epiphany is held on January 6, celebrating the birth of Jesus and the visit by the three wise men. The night before Epiphany is known as Twelfth Night, as it is the twelfth night of Christmastide, following Christmas.

For those that might follow an older path and celebrate Yule instead, Twelfth Night follows as well as the end of the Yuletide celebrations. However as Yule begins on December 20th, this means Yuletide Twelfth Night is December 31st, the end of the year.

In both traditions, there is a toast to good health and good harvest, called a wassail (from the Old English wæs hæl, which means “be you healthy”) which was raised with a drink of the same name.

Hot wassail is a cousin of mulled wines and ciders, but is instead usually made with mead or ale. Lambswool is but one ancient version of the drink which keeps the apple pulp in the drink.



750ml (or two 12 oz bottles) honey mead
12 oz hard apple cider
12 oz ginger beer (or ginger ale)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cloves
2 cups no-sugar-added applesauce


  • large saucepan
  • blender


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the mead, cider, and ginger beer. Add the sugar, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and cloves. Cook over medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar and meld the flavors together.
  2. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves, then add the applesauce. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour mixture into blender and puree together until the apples form a frothy head.
  4. Serve warm immediately.


Yes, the traditional recipe requires coring and baking six apples (at 250°F for about an hour) then pureeing them. Normally I’m all about the traditional methods and freshest ingredients. However, we’re talking about making applesauce, which you can so easily purchase. For once, I say use the store-bought jar of applesauce. Just get the kind with no sugar added and no funny extra ingredients.


I love a good mulled wine, but I think a hot lambswool wassail may be the best thing to kill the chill of Twelfth Night.

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Aterrados



Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! from and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!”


Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: The Appearance



Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

When she’s not terrorizing her fans and racking up frequent flyers miles by gallivanting all over the country attending fan conventions and writer’s conferences she reviews indie horror and science fiction films for both her personal blog and

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! from and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!”







FRIGHTENING FLIX Horror Holiday Gift Guide Video

Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz discusses what type of affordable, family friendly, or full on scary Frightening Flix to give this Holiday season included Bela Lugosi and Universal Horror, Tales from the Crypt versus Tales from the Darkside, and more!



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Horror Seeker: Is “IT” for better or worse?

Pennywise is possibly Stephen King’s most iconic character, having been brought to life first in the 1990 TV miniseries IT, played brilliantly by Tim Curry. So, it was no surprise to hear about the reboot that came out last year, and I have to say I was happy enough with it. I think my anticipation got the better of me then, as the amazement of the film has all but worn off, but it was enough of a spur for me to pick up a copy of the book and get it read before the next chapters is released which is scheduled for Sept. 6 of next year.

Now, I could go on about the exhausted complaints about the 2017 film, or give you a nostalgic love letter as to why the original is better- it really is-, but I’d rather talk about the potential that Chapter 2 could have in store for us.

First off, no story is worth anything without its characters, and IT is arguably one of the most laborious efforts to flesh them out. However, I feel this is where the book and the 1990 miniseries win over the reboot. Believability. The characters, right down to the simple extras, I was convinced that there was something serious going on. Well, okay, not everything was so serious; of course the scene in the library and Curry’s imposing, yet hilarious laugh. But it all worked, at least as far as I’m concerned. It’s said, you don’t want to work with animals or children in film, for obvious reasons, but I felt young Bill’s pain, I empathized and feared for Ben and Mike, and Henry Bowers, good God, has to be one of the coolest young antagonists out there. That was enough for me to lend credibility to the rest (Richie, Beverly, Eddie, and Stan). As far as the 2017 rendition goes though, while I enjoyed the movie enough, it felt more like a group of kids trying really hard to impersonate these characters, if that makes sense. Stan’s Jewish, yeah we know. Richie is a motor mouth, Eddie is paranoid about being sick, and so on. Now, I know they’re just kids, and that’s how kids behave, but to me, it felt a little too forced.

And lets not forget to address the clown in the room! Not for nostalgic loyalty alone, but I give it to Tim Curry any day, taking nothing away from Bill Skarsgard. Just as quotable, just as memorable, and even more accurate to the appearance of Pennywise, but again, believability. You wouldn’t let your kid near either of these two, right? But, be honest about which one you’d be more nervous around. Skarsgard was unnerving, Curry was unassuming. And that, I feel played more into Pennywise’s goal of luring kids in. I called the characters in the 1990 version victims, but the 2017 one- stupid!

Now, it’s lost potential seeing as how the cast is set, and really the only one I’m looking forward to seeing is James McAvoy as adult Bill, but wouldn’t it have been a fantastic turn-a-cast if they were able to round up the children actors of the miniseries to play the adults of the Losers Club? They’re the perfect age, perfect timing! Oh, what a lost opportunity if there ever was one. But, speaking of returns, you have to wonder, will Tim Curry cameo? I’ll leave that for anticipation.

But there is an undeniable silver lining in the upcoming Chapter, and that is that it will take place in present day. This, I am hoping will give Pennywise, as well as the story itself room to evolve, as it will be stepping outside of IT‘s known universe, perhaps (I know that King’s books are latent with references to Pennywise here and there, so if I missed something please let me know). This move alone will hopefully justify IT‘s re-imagining, cause why else remake a movie (if not for the cash grab) than to take it someplace else? IT could restore my interest in remakes, but that’s an article for another time.

One last note I’d like to discuss, one that was brought to my attention by a friend and that is, can people- namely kids- relate to the story today? This may be something that hurts the story as a whole, because while people in 1990 could relate better to those in the late ’50s, getting into trouble and going places where they weren’t supposed to, do kids today really share the same attitudes and behaviors? I’m sure some do, they’re kids, but one of the aspects of the book I think I missed out on, which is why I didn’t find IT all that scary, was I grew up in the late 80’s/early 90’s. A changing environment, and even more so today. People aren’t the same as they were 30, or even 60 years ago. I think, while the themes of the story might still stick, the atmosphere not so much. This may be a challenge for Chapter 2. Make IT scary, make IT fun! Either way, I’ll be seeing IT, won’t you? You’ll die, if you try not to. You’ll die if you try…